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Relax Like Royalty
Newly acquired surnames can’t all come with a duchess-of-such-and-such title, but it’s still possible to roam like royalty. Why not hold court in a storied palazzo or revel in a majestic mansion as if it were your own? After all, this isn’t just any trip – it’s your honeymoon. So, with this in mind boutique hotel experts, Mr & Mrs Smith, have shared some of the most romantic spots from their collection.
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Aspiring aristocrats will feel right at home in the exclusive Hacienda de San Antonio, in Mexico's small highland state of Colima. This elegant, 120-year-old colonial-style estate with commanding colonnades and curved archways sits serenely in a jaw-dropping landscape of coffee plants and avenues of bamboo.
Room to book: El Sol is the largest of the hotel's suites, and boasts huge fireplaces in the bedroom and living area, as well as soft sofas, original artwork galore and a private terrace.
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A red-brick Gilded Age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island's Historic Hill neighbourhood, the Vanderbilt Grace hotel exudes bygone-day charm. The decor, however, is anything but antiquated; cool modern design rules.
Room to book: Play house in the airy Vanderbilt Suite, which feels more like a luxury apartment than a hotel room. There's a come-hither king-size bed and gleaming ensuite with soaking tub.
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Seduction is sweet at The Kandy House in Sri Lanka, a 200-year-old, nine-room palazzo fitted for the 21st-century. A soothing scene is set with minimalist lines, atypical antiques and quirky strokes of color throughout the central courtyard and around the hammock-hemmed infinity pool.
Room to book: The Black Rajah Ultra Room -- with a low-slung king-size bed draped in billowy netting, octagonal soaking tub and in-room massage area -- is as princely as it gets.
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Leave the throngs of tourists behind when you enter Residenza Naloleone III, an opulent 16th-century boutique apartment in the eternal city. Massive wooden doors, an arcade of Doric columns, and a sweeping marble staircase lined with antique busts are just the opening acts to the spacious reception rooms and grand bedroom.
Room to book: The Residenza Napoleone suite with a canopied bed dripping in rich fabrics and silks and six massive oil paintings -- one of which forms the bed’s headboard; another opens to reveal the exquisite marble bathroom.
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Prepare to be pampered at the glamorous Coworth Park hotel and spa, a luxurious country manor within easy access of London. The 17th-century postcard perfect manse and polo estate has been treated to an intelligent and modern makeover that has given it three restaurants, a spectacular eco-savvy spa, and an air of quietly confident grandeur.
Room to book: Allow yourself to be swept away by the expansive garden views from the Derby Suite (room 34). It’s a regally decorated four-postered love nest located smack in the centre of the main mansion house building.
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Art admirers will fall for Hospes Palacio del Bailío in cultured Córdoba -– a mix of Roman ruins, Moorish gates, Tuscan-inspired frescoes, 16th-century Spanish architecture and smart contemporary furniture. Stroll hand-in-hand through orange-grove gardens, recline poolside in the four-poster lounger and soak in ancient Roman baths at the standout spa.
Room to book: Nab a nest overlooking the citrus-filled courtyard for peaceful, pretty views. Cozy up in number 117, a small deluxe that has a petite balcony, floor-to-ceiling French doors and egg-shaped bath tub.
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Château la Thuilière's beginnings could have been plucked from a Gothic tale set among the Bordeaux vines. In the 19th-century, a marquis bought the land and built the château for his fiancé as a wedding gift, and the road that snakes around the estate forms a sweeping heart shape, with two towering trees as its centre. Today the hotel blends French grandeur with modern design know-how showcasing furniture by Philippe Starck and Mies Van der Rohe.
Room to book: It doesn’t get more luxurious than the XL Suite with views of the park and grounds.
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An ex-pasha's mansion on Istanbul's royal blue Bosphorus, A'jia Hotel has a stately Ottoman exterior that belies its contemporary interior. There’s not a belly-dancer's tassel in sight, just chic white-on-white glamour that extends to the impressive rooms and fine dining restaurant too.
Room to book: Room 8 has a huge balcony that gives you the feeling you own the place. The bedroom is serene and cool, and the ensuite is a gorgeous Ottoman chamber of creamy marble and tile.
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Have you ever levitated? Now’s your chance, as you’ll float more than walk, through the surreal Samode Palace, a walled desert wonderland near Jaipur, in the heart of Rajasthan. This 300-year-old maharaja's mansion is home to mirror-tiled halls and mural-lined walls, marble swimming pools, and a brilliant bar bursting with top-shelf wines.
Room to book: Deluxe Suite 216 is a particularly lavish space with a canopied king-size bed, marble pillars, a cushioned day-bed and a sun-drenched mosaic-tiled bath tub.
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The late 19th-century 137 Pillars House -- a princely pile once owned by Louis Leonowens, (son of Anna of Anna and the King fame) -- is a nostalgic blend of teak Thai architecture and modern design. Indulge in the hotel's exquisite dining (learn the chef’s secrets in a cooking class), a super-pretty spa, dramatic pool and day-bed-dotted tropical gardens.
Room to book: We love the seductive upper-floor Rajah Brooke Suites with king-size bed, walk-in wardrobe and dressing room, a freestanding Victorian bath and indoor and outdoor showers.
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